Train driven at 80mph with door open after loose screw caused malfunction

Commuters on board a Greater Anglia train at Shenfield in Essex, as workers in five rail companies stage a fresh wave of strikes in the bitter disputes over the role of guards, causing disruption to services in the first full week back to work after the festive break.
A door on a Greater Anglia train in Essex was open for 23 minutes while it was going 80mph (Picture: PA)

A train travelled at 80mph through Essex with one of its doors open after a screw became loose, a new report has revealed.

The Greater Anglia service covered 16 miles before a passenger spotted the fault and raised the alarm on August 22, investigators from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found.

The interlock system that checks to see if all doors are fully closed had failed after two bracket screws fell out, the report added.

Investigators said the door had remained open for 23 minutes.

RAIB warned Greater Anglia it needed to fix the problem on other Class 321 services after the train company discovered loose screws on “at least 60” out of 480 entrances.

Ipswich, UK. 17th April 2017. A Greater Anglia express service is about to depart for London. Some people remain on the platform awaiting a connecting train.
Greater Anglia promised to carry out additional checks (Picture: PA)

The report added refurbishment on the faulty train that travelled with a door open had not appeared to involve tightening of screws.

The RAIB report said: "The apparent omission of yellow marks during refurbishment meant that one of the visual indications of a loose screw was absent, reducing the likelihood of checks identifying any loosening of the incident screws.

"The lack of yellow marks on these screws was not reported nor addressed at that time."


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Greater Anglia has now introduced stronger safety measures and has promised to carry out additional checks in the future.

A spokesperson for the train company said: "We apologise to customers affected by this incident.

"We take the safety of our trains and customers extremely seriously. We have cooperated fully with RAIB in their investigations as well as carrying out our own investigation.

"We have introduced new more stringent safety procedures and are committed to carrying out additional checks on our trains' doors from now on."

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